Nov. 2, 2004
Led by seniors Anthony Richardson and Adam Waleskowski, a total of five players with starting experience return to the Seminoles roster in 2004-05. Richardson started 24 of 29 games during the 2002-03 season and 16 of 33 during the 2003-04 season and is the most experienced Seminole in terms of starts with 40 entering his senior season. Richardson has missed only one game during his career and needs only 195 points to reach the 1,000 point plateau for his career. Waleskowski, who has played in every game of his career, enjoyed the best season of his career as a junior when he averaged a career-high 6.8 points and a career-high and team-leading 5.4 rebounds. Waleskowski started each of the final three games of the season – against NC State in the ACC Tournament and against Wichita State and Iowa State as the Seminoles advanced to the second round of the NIT.
With the first game of the regular season just over two weeks away on Nov. 19 against Texas Southern, here is a list of many of the basics you need to know about the Seminole men’s basketball team to get ready for the upcoming season.
A- The Atlantic Coast Conference was founded in Greensboro, North Carolina. The seven original members were Clemson, Duke, Maryland, University of North Carolina, University of North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest. Florida State became a member on July 1st 1991 and the University of Miami and Virginia were admitted in 2003.
B- BCA Coach of the Years honors went to Seminoles’ Head Coach Leonard Hamilton Hamilton in 2000 while head coach for the University of Miami.
C- Dave Cowens, a member of the Seminoles’ first NCAA Tournament team in 1968, was named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
D- Defeated by Florida State since Leonard Hamilton became its’ head coach are five nationally ranked teams (Wake Forest, University of North Carolina, University of Maryland and Duke University).
E- Expectations are high this season after beating several ranked teams in the past and with an improving record for the past two years.
F- Fans that support FSU basketball have been a big part of their recent success the past couple of years. FSU basketball has continually increased its attendance rate each year and finished in the top thirty nationally for highest attendance during the 2003-04 season.
G- Graduation rates are perfect under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton since his arrival. During his tenure at Florida State a perfect total – 10 of 10 – seniors have all earned their degrees. During Hamilton’s 16 years as a head coach at the collegiate level, 38 of 41 seniors who completed their eligibility have earned their degrees over the past ten years.
H- Home court advantage has shown to play a part in the Seminoles’ success as they went 15-3 while playing at home last season.
I- Improvement is a big key to their success and the Seminoles are doing just that. They have improved their victory total the past two years — 2002-03 (14-15) and 2003-04 (19-14).
J- Alexander Johnson will be one of the Seminoles’ many players to watch this season. He earned Freshmen All- America Honorable mention honors and averaged 9.5 points which was the second leading average on the team.
K- Leonard Hamilton was the first associate head coach at the University of Kentucky
L- Longest, as in the longest winning streak for the Seminoles in 2003, was 10 games. Florida State won its first 10 games of the season in Leonard Hamilton’s second season.
M – Michael Bradley is a crucial part of the Seminole Basketball team. He is their strength and conditioning coach and is recognized nationally as one of the best in his field.
N – National rankings from Dick Vitale of ESPN as he ranks Florida State No. 30 in his pre-season poll of the Top 30 Teams to Watch for the upcoming season.
O- Opponents on the Seminoles schedule have always proved to be among the best in the nation. Florida State will face at least three Sweet Sixteen participants from the 2004 NCAA Tournament, including Georgia Tech which was an NCAA finalist, this season.
P- Persistence pays off!! This year Florida State basketball is recognized as one of the top up-and-coming programs in the nation by many publications.
Q- Displaying the toughness of the Atlantic Coast Conference, there has been an ACC team in the NCAA quarterfinals for the past seven NCAA basketball tournaments.
R- Recruiting classes for the past two years for the Seminoles have been recognized as some of the best. Florida State’s recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in 2003 and 2nd in the ACC and 11th nationally in 2004.
S- Support from the Seminole fans has been amazing. Florida State is ranked fourth among the nation’s colleges and universities for fans who support their teams by The Princeton Review.
T- The toughest conference in the nation during the 2003-04 season was the ACC according to collegerpi.com.
U- The Seminoles’ roster includes six underclassmen that will have play big roles for the Seminoles during the 2004-05 season.
V- Florida State sophomore Von Wafer is one of the fastest rising stars in the ACC. He ranked third in scoring (7.9) on the team as a freshman and is expected to have a play a big role in the success of the Seminoles in 2004-05.
W- The Washington Wizards is where Leonard Hamilton got his professional coaching experience (2000-01), before become a Seminole in 2002
X- The X-factor this year will be the superb play of sophomore Alex Johnson who is their top returning scorer.
Y- With only two returning starters in their lineup, the Seminoles’ will be considered one of the younger teams in the ACC during the 2004-05 season.
Z- With a promising season ahead the basketball team will be very zealous about this exciting season.
By Florence Williams
Sports Information Student Intern